Much of what I'm learning right now has much more to do with spiritual training aspects for our children than actual lesson planning or projects. Although the logistics of schooling do continue to be researched and developed, it's the purpose and where they are leading that has weighed on my heart of late. I'm a big picture thinker so I often go down the road, so to speak, quite often. I do pray to be mentally present and emotionally available in these days to enjoy these moments of toddler and baby hood. My dear husband is a wonderful detailed planner, a here and now personality. The balance of our two perspectives is a wonderful asset in our goals of being intentional purposeful parents.
The thoughts, conversation and prayers of late surround the concepts of guiding our children to recognize the calling God has for their lives. How we help them listen for that and have the courage to act are just a few of the nuances. I believe one of the steps for them is to build a trust and love for God. Knowing God through the bible, prayer, relationships, life experiences and application lays a foundation for a faith lived out. A faith not in words, but in their hearts and actions. We get to know God's very nature by knowing His names which reflects different facets of His character. Learning His promises for us as His children instills trust for all of life; it's excitement, joys, temptations, frustrations, pain, disappointments, fears and injustices.
In our American culture, the conversation of occupation usually involves aspects of personal passion and financial compensation. The goal being the accumulation of material possessions, respect and personal growth and self worth. In my faith journey, God is telling my heart there is much more to our jobs than that. The American dream is not God's plan. This topic is of great concern on my heart right now for only reasons God knows. It's not an immediate issue we are facing yet I believe even at this early age, we are laying the seeds to guide our children's view point. The choosing of a mate in our country becomes more diluted, less about a life long promise, hard work and choice. It becomes more about convenience, serving self, and in the moment emotions. Bearing children is seen as cumbersome, rather than a honor and privilege. Growing up and older is seen as a negative, rather than a rich accumulation of wisdom, experience and loving memories. We can give credit to God for circumstances, blessings and achievements or fill ourselves with the sin of self important selfish pride. We can rely on God for the answers or allow our fears, worries and anxieties rule our lives.
Through articles I read, conversation I participate in and blogs I follow, God has been working to challenge the ways I have always thought. In light of our challenge through our church, God is putting it on my heart to share our God story. I do so with a certain trepidation as instances in the past where I have done so have opened me up to judgement and criticism. I continually strive to see many aspects of my journey to this point through God's eyes. I do pray against either pride or shame. As hard as it is for me to be truly vulnerable- as much as I share here- it's not about people's reactions or approval of me. It's about God's glory. I may not say it the right way but I continually feel the last couple of week this is the right time again. That feeling of prodding , with raising anxiety that won't be shushed. I don't want to quiet that still voice. I don't want to bow to the idol of comfort. I strive not to hurt anyone for these words to build up and hopefully encourage someone out there closer to our Heavenly Father. God has done amazing work on my heart and I look forward to the continuing molding of my heart and character to be more like Him and less of me. Less selfish, less prideful, less careless, less needy and overwhelming. God works through each and every child He has created on this earth. Yet, I know my desire to obey God's calling on my heart must be stronger than the desire for approval from others.
My journey of faith so far....I grew up in a Catholic household and attended mass during the occasional Christmas and Easter. My parents believe in God as all four of us children received a Catholic baptism as infants. We spoke very traditional Catholic prayers. My perspective of God and being a Christian were formed in those few early experiences. In high school I was invited and attended regularly a Lutheran Church. I became active in their youth group and choir getting confirmed during my time there. I became good friend with a girl who opened her home up to me. She and her family (who btw I was very overjoyed to recently come back in contact with via facebook and share with them how much they made an impact on me as a teenager). After graduation, I wondered. There are 8 dark years in there. I never consciously turned away, but in hindsight I put other things and people before my relationship with God. (There is a much larger detailed story in the way God brought me back to a relationship with Him that really requires a personal relationship between me and the reader to share) Reaching a point where I could hear God's voice again I started searching. I visited several denominations until interacting with 3 people in different circles of my life that all attended the same church. Since even then I did not believe in coincidences, I visited a Church of Christ. There I became closer to God and after much searching of answers was baptized as an adult.
In certain aspects I feel behind spiritually with others my age who grew up always having a close relationship with and understanding of God's love and will. Then I remember comparing myself to other people in any sense is a worldly lose-lose situation. Because of the family God chose for me, I will never have to speak hypothetically about diverse faiths and beliefs. They all exist within my family. I am honored to have the family I do. I am not ashamed of the differences as God makes no mistakes in who He chooses to be our earthly parents. Sin exists in every person, relation and family. The degrees of the mistakes we all make are not relevant to God. I have to say I am so thankful to God for bringing Billy in to my life. He was willing to take on faith who I was when my past didn't look good on paper. God showes me His immeasurable grace through our relationship. God has proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt just as did with Ninevah, He is a God of second chances.
2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.